The Remain movement is evaporating

Scribbled placards, muttered chants and a lacklustre turnout defined last weekend’s measly ‘March for Europe’ demonstrations, revealing the ever-dwindling reach of the residual pro-EU movement.

In London, Eddie Izzard and his not-so-barmy army traipsed aimlessly around the sodden streets of our capital, and in my trendy hometown of Cambridge, literally tens of people turned up for what looked more like a group therapy session than a political protest.

To be fair, the timing couldn’t have been worse for the plucky Remoaners. Only a few days earlier, an August survey showing a swift rebound in the UK’s manufacturing sector poured more doubt on Stronger IN’s economic ghost stories that formed the bulk of their bootless campaign. And although the languishing pound is likely to nudge up inflation, a further report released this week indicates that we are now on course to avoid the much-mooted financial apocalypse.

According to a Lord Ashcroft poll conducted in the wake of the referendum, “the risks of voting to leave the EU looked too great when it came to things like the economy, jobs and prices”  was the main reason Remainers voted the way they did. Indeed, the majority of the losing side were not cronyist, democracy-diluting Eurofanatics; they were decent, patriotic but slightly gullible folk , who – unlike us – bought into Project Fear. But now the doom-laced chicanery of the Remain campaign has been exposed, they are rapidly losing interest, wiping the egg of their faces and embracing the new consensus.

The Twitter tantrums, the “waycist” name-calling, the cringeworthy petitions and the unstoppable tide of phony outrage are all subsiding. It is becoming increasingly clear that we can make a success of independence, and that Brexit represents a positive opportunity for folk of all political persuasions. The husk that took to the streets on Saturday are the only dissenting voices left: a bitter, confused and unspeakably arrogant minority who are quickly running out of things to say and an audience to say it to.

Bring on the second referendum – we’d only win it again.

The Great British Taxpayer is a political blogger 

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  1. This is indeed the wrong time for us remainers to protest. The road to leaving has hardly begun and we have no idea what “leaving” means beyond not being a full member of the EU. I am sure you are right that if there was a second referendum now the Leave vote would be higher. The time to protest will be when the leavers realise that they are not going to get what they were promised. But that will not be obvious until it is clear what “leave” means. All we know at the moment is:

    * There will not be £350 million a week extra to spend on the NHS
    * There will not be a rules based immigration system
    * Leaving will be a massively complicated and expensive process which is unlikely to be completed until well into 2019.

    But the big outcomes (single market, freedom of movement, degree of control at national level, fate of Scotland and N. Ireland) are to be decided.

    I am confused as to why the current buoyant state of the economy is seen as a refutation of the expert forecasts. These were forecasts about what will happen when we leave under various hypotheses about what “leave” actually meant. We haven’t left yet. I checked the forecasts of the IMF, IFS and CBI – none of them predicted that there would be a recession in 2016 – in fact they had very little to say about the immediate aftermath of a leave result except that the pound would drop and their would be considerable uncertainty. Right now we continue to have all the advantages of EU membership plus a low pound which is good for exports (albeit eventually bad for inflation). Add to that the BoE measures and Hammond pulling back from austerity and I am surprised the rebound isn’t bigger. It is like announcing victory in the 10,000 metres because you are leading after the first lap.

    • Anthony Richards says:

      Good post, Frank, but don’t forget it was the initial impact that the scaremongers were talking about (Osborne’s emergency budget within days etc.), and apart perhaps from more expensive overseas holidays there simply have been no significant negatives that I’m aware of – quite the reverse, in fact.

      • Osborne’s punishment budget was a low point in a poor campaign. However, if you check the wording, you will find that even that speech was unclear as to whether it would happen immediately after the referendum result, after article 50 was invoked or after we actually left.

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